Herero Day in Namibia Date in the current year: August 26, 2024

Herero Day in Namibia Herero Day, also known as Red Flag Heroes’ Day and Red Flag Day, is an annual commemoration held in the Namibian city of Okahandja. It honors the memory of deceased chieftains of the Herero people, an ethnic group residing in Namibia, Botswana and Angola.

The Herero belong to the Bantu peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa. While most Bantu are primarily farmers, the Herero have historically been herdsmen. They migrated to the territory of the present-day Namibia during the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the late 19th century, the first German settlers arrived in South West Africa to establish a colony there. Although the Herera originally maintained good relations with the colonists, soon conflicts between the Herero and the Germans began.

In 1904, Samuel Maharero, the Paramount Chief of the Herero, initiated a revolt against the German colonial administration. Herero forces suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Watterberg on August 11, 1904. About 80% of the Hereros were killed in battle or died of thirst, starvation or disease afterwards, but Maharero managed to lead around 1000 of his people to Bechuanaland (present-day Botswana) and asked the British colonial government for asylum.

Samuel Maharero died in exile in Bechuanaland on March 14, 1923. On August 23, his body was returned to Okahandja and was ceremoniously reburied three days later. The anniversary of the reburial is now celebrated as Herero Day. The celebrations usually begin on the Sunday closest to August 23 and last for three days.

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Herero Day, Red Flag Day, Red Flag Heroes’ Day, holidays in Namibia, observances in Namibia, Samuel Maharero